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The Best Snacks to Pack for Your Next Day Hike

A pan of homemade granola, a mug full of trail mix, and Kodiak Cakes pancakes and syrup.
Cookie + Kate/Healthy Maven/Kodiak Cakes

While you take in those gorgeous views at the peak of a soaring mountain on your day hike, you’ll want a snack to enjoy. You’ll also want something that will help you refuel. Here are some foods we recommend you pack for your next hike.

Replenishing all that spent energy whenever you’re hiking is super important because it keeps you going strong. These tasty snacks are chock-full of nutrition and will easily fit in your backpack.

Tuna or Salmon Packets

Wild Planet tuna on a sandwich, and Wild Planet Salmon on three slices of wheat bread.
Wild Planet

Both salmon and tuna are excellent sources of high-quality protein. They contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids to provide reliable energy when you need it the most.

In addition to their many health benefits, the lightweight packets offer a delicious, inexpensive, and convenient trail snack. Take that serving of fish on the go and enjoy it on crackers, pretzels, or on its own.

We like Wild Planet tuna because you get quality fish with no fillers. It’s the perfect snack for brain, heart, and whole-body health.

The salmon packets from the same brand are 100% “pole and line caught” in the Central or Northern Pacific Ocean.

Granola and Energy Bars

A baking pan full of homemade granola and a CLIF protein bar.
Cookie + Kate/CLIF

The rolled oats combined with nuts and dried fruit in granola make it an excellent calorie-dense snack that’s also rich in protein and other nutrients and vitamins. The fiber and protein in this tasty snack will also keep you full for longer, which is excellent for outdoor activities, like hiking.

You can purchase granola at most supermarkets, but if you want to keep things extra healthy, we recommend making your own.

This easy recipe offers five variations, so you can add exactly the ingredients love most, from chocolate chips to dried fruit. It’s so delicious, you’ll want to make a batch for everyday snacking at home, too!

Get the Recipe: Cookie + Kate

For optimal, long-lasting fuel, energy bars are ideal. They’re filled with protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Plus, they’re lightweight, easy to pack, and designed for moderate to intense activity. CLIF bars are perfect for satisfying your hunger and also providing the perfect pick-me-up after hours of hiking along rocky or steep terrain.

Trail Mix

A mug full of homemade trail mix.
Healthy Maven

This wouldn’t be a complete hiking snack list without trail mix! This calorie-dense treat is known for the trail, hence, its name.

Of course, you can find many variations at the supermarket or online, which makes selecting your favorite combination easy. However, we recommend making your own. Not only will you save some cash, but you can also add only the ingredients you like and leave out any you don’t.

This recipe from Healthy Maven teaches you how to build any trail mix based on your own preferences, but also includes a recipe you can try. We recommend one filled with nuts and dried fruit, so you can fill up on protein and fat and, of course, quick and convenient energy.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Maven

Nuts, Nut Butter, and Seeds

Someone sprinkling Sahale Maple Pecans in their hand out of a snack pack.
Sahale

Seeds and nuts make excellent sources of protein and healthy fats. Not only are they a healthy choice, but they boost energy and are super convenient to take on the trail. Choose your favorite, and be sure to pack a baggie for the day.

We like these Sahale snack packs. You get 12, 1.5-ounce packs of the following:

  • 3 Maple pecan glazed
  • 3 Honey almond glazed
  • 3 Pomegranate-/vanilla-flavored cashews glazed
  • 3 Pomegranate-flavored pistachios glazed

Seeds also make an excellent mid-trail snack. They’re packed with nutrients to keep your enerygy up and just enough of a salty, satisfying crunch.

If you aren’t a fan of crunching on nuts, but love the smooth texture of creamy peanut or almond butter, we recommend making your own spread at home. Then, just take a banana, apple, or some bread along to spread that yummy goodness on later.

Firm Fruit and Squeeze Packets

Man eating a banana on a hike.
fotoliza/Shutterstock.com

Sliced oranges make the best treat on a hike, especially when it’s hot. Those wedges of juicy fruit burst in your mouth and give you naturally sweet hydration that will quench your thirst and help ease those hunger pangs, too.

Bananas also make an easy-to-eat trail snack. Plus, they’re filled with potassium, which is excellent for strenuous exercise to replenish your electrolytes. Apples are excellent to take with you, too.

Fruit squeeze packets are lightweight and offer a juicy fill when you need a quick energy boost. The sweet, tart flavors are just as refreshing as the fruits they come from, but they offer an easier way to take fruit with you on your hike.

Veggies and Jerky

A pack of Mission Meats Beef Sticks on a cutting board next to two bowls of seeds.
Mission Meats

If you plan on being out on the trail for a few days, you can pack just enough for the first day and eat up your nonperishables after that.

Otherwise, take some carrot or celery sticks, or even cucumber slices with you for a refreshing and healthy kick of energy. Add a boost of flavor by also packing some hummus (as long as you plan on eating within the first few hours).

Beef jerky is another convenient and accessible trail snack. This high-protein, low-carb food is super portable and has a long shelf life, so taking a bag on a multi-day hike works well, too.

Cheese Quesadillas

Someone slicing cheese quesadillas on a cutting board.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Cheese quesadillas make a nice lunch or snack option, as long as you don’t let them sit in your hot pack all day. If you plan on eating these within a few hours of your hike, they’re really easy to whip up—just follow our easy recipe.

Mini Pancakes

A pack of Kodiak Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix next to a stack of pancakes and someone pouring syrup on them.
Kodiak Cakes

Mini pancakes are a solid breakfast choice if you’re going on a morning hike. To keep things extra simple, just pick up some Kodiak Flapjack Mix, then freeze your premade pancakes or waffles for your trip.

By the time you enjoy them, they’ll be thawed out, leaving you with a protein-rich, filling breakfast or snack.


Whether you’re just looking for some fresh snack ideas for your next hike, or you’re new to hiking altogether, any of these options are perfect for the trail. Don’t forget to clean up after yourself and leave no trace behind.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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